It feels like years and years since I’ve posted here. Going through grueling physical recovery from two surgeries has changed me on a molecular level. It’s been a flurry of progressions with an equal amount of regressions. What I’ve learned is if I don’t take the time I need to fully heal, maybe this would have been all for nothing. My goal is to return to writing by the end of this year, or early next year. My brain is ready to go, yet my body still says no. I keep this photo handy every time I berate myself for not showing up. “They” say that time heals all wounds, but I’ve come to realize that it’s what you do with that time that evokes positive change and enlightenment – genuine growth.
“In lieu of her beautifully written blogs, Adrienne has sent us a short video message. She’s been kept away from the keyboard due to shoulder surgery. We wish her a fast and healthy recovery and look forward to her new writings!”
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”
From “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns, Scottish Poet
I’ll be taking a break from posting in this space for the next few weeks. What I thought was a routine problem with my shoulder, turned out to be a much bigger and more serious health risk. Long story short, I need to have surgery relatively soon, and will be using my energy to prepare for what lies ahead. All of the projects and plans I had scheduled over the next six weeks are currently put on hold until further notice. While this is disappointing, the good news is that I’ll be in better health all around once I’m fully recovered. As always, I’m so grateful to be living in a time in which medical advances for treating all sorts of mental and physical illnesses were not available fifty years ago – maybe even twenty years ago.
Thank you to my friends at esperanza magazine for your good wishes and for holding a place for me on the Hope Blog while I’m out.
I’m looking to chat or email offline with others who’ve had cervical spinal fusion. Please contact me if you’re willing to do so. I would really appreciate it! Thanks.
Many thanks to everyone who has reached out to me after I shared the news of my upcoming surgery. I’m still scared and anxious, but just knowing that I have the emotional support from near and far makes this ordeal more manageable. I’m especially grateful to those who have told me about your loved ones who have gone through the same operation. I don’t know anyone who has gone through this, so just knowing that some of you have witnessed this first hand and the results have all been successful takes a lot of my fear away. I was hesitant about even mentioning the spinal fusion at all, but now I’m so glad I listened to my inner voice telling me that if I shared my situation, I’d be helping myself and anyone else who is going through something similar, just as I do when I talk about my struggles with depression and anxiety.
I started making a list yesterday of everything I need to do before the surgery. Since I know that my throat will be very sore for a few days, making it difficult to swallow – I’m now researching to see if my daily medications are available in liquid form. I’d rather drink my meds, than crush up the pills and mix them into yogurt, but if that’s what it comes down to, I’ll make do. Included in my list are questions I have for the surgeon. I’m carrying around a notebook because if I don’t write down my thoughts as they pop up, I will totally forget them. Keeping lists has always been a good method for keeping my anxiety in check. Being anxious about my surgery can lead to confusion and uncertainty. This is one operation where I want to know every tid-bit of info before I step foot into the OR.
Again, I really wanted to express my gratitude for the good wishes, prayers and support you’ve given me these past days. Sending you all one-armed hugs for now.
Here’s the latest from my never-boring world:
After two MRIs and many x-rays to find the cause of the unbearable pain in my right arm, shoulder and neck from the past two months, I was diagnosed on Thursday with degenerative disc disease (spondylosis) I’m shocked, terrified and haven’t gotten past the “WTF???” stage yet. What I can tell you now are the facts.
1) My surgery for spinal fusion in the C3/4, 4/5 and 5/6 vertebra in my neck is scheduled for April 23rd at Mount Sinai Hospital.
2) I have to meet with a plastic surgeon prior to the operation, since the incision to reach my spine will be made on the front of my neck, next to my voice box, and I don’t want to be left with an unnecessarily big scar.
3) My voice will be very hoarse for 2-4 weeks post-surgery.
4) From today forward, I’ll be making preparations for the surgery and post-operative care – meaning prioritizing my work-load, writing/blogging and personal responsibilities.
That’s all I can say for now, even though there a gazillion thoughts running through my brain, trying to sort them out here on my blog page isn’t something I’m ready to do.
Follow my personal blog for what’s sure to be an emotionally charged, freak-out rollercoaster ride.
Have questions? Don’t be afraid to ask: